Following the homicide of medical student Paul DeWolf, whose body was found July 24 in his apartment in the Phi Rho Sigma medical fraternity, University Police and the Ann Arbor Police Department are working to ease residents’ and students’ fears with increased police presence.
AAPD Lt. Ed Dreslinski said on-duty officers have been asked to make increased patrols in the area around North Ingalls Street, adding that crime is not common there.
Dreslinski said the increased police presence is two-fold — intended both to alleviate residents’ fears and possibly aid in the investigation that has seen cooperation between the AAPD, University Police and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
“We also want to be in the area because we may run into something — somebody may see something or see a police officer and run up and (give a tip) … so it’s a couple of reasons,” He said. “We want to seek every option we can (to find information).”
Since the death occurred off-campus, AAPD is leading the investigation. University Police are cooperating with the process and, according to spokeswoman Diane Brown, have also increased their presence on Central Campus in order to ease students’ anxiety.
“All of the University Police officers who are on patrol — regardless of what area of campus they are assigned to for that shift — are also doing patrols in the North Ingalls area and then also in other areas of Central Campus due to some of the other incidents that have been reported,” Brown said.
She said while North Ingalls Street itself is not included within the jurisdiction of University Police, the University owns several properties in the area, which allows University Police to frequent the off-campus streets as they go to and from the properties.
University properties include the 300 North Ingalls Building, the School of Nursing and the back of Rackham Graduate School. The unaffiliated Phi Rho Sigma house is located at 220 N. Ingalls St.
“It’s not uncommon for us when there are incidents that are particularly noteworthy to our community — our University campus community — (to) put additional patrol officers in that area,” Brown said. “We recognize that many students live off-campus … nearby and so we will assist Ann Arbor police in providing additional police visibility in those particular neighborhoods.”
She added that the increased patrols in the northern Central Campus area do not detract from officer’s presence in other areas, saying that University Police will not “neglect” other parts of the community.
The increased presence began on July 26 when AAPD announced that it was investigating DeWolf’s death as a homicide, Brown said. While there is no end date to the heightened security, she said patrols would likely return to normal should AAPD investigators solve the case.
Dreslinski said though the investigation is ongoing, the fraternity house is still occupied.
There have been no arrests or leads as of July 31.